Producers from across the south east of England descended on Newmarket Racecourse Conference Centre to display their products to potential buyers.
This year’s event attracted 89 sellers from across the UK, with more than 500 meetings taking place with 36 international buyers from as far afield as Asia and South America.
Kaye Foong, founder and chief executive of Cheeky Boy Sauces, attended the event. Foong said the forum had given him the chance to speak directly with buyers from North America and Europe, markets that his company was looking to export to.
‘New export partnerships’
“As a result of these meetings, we’re now exploring possible new export partnerships with buyers from Spain and Canada,” said Foong.
“We’ve had a three-year relationship with DIT, and they’ve done nothing but bend over backwards to help us secure export success. I’d encourage any business looking to grow their exports to get in touch and see how they can help – if we can do it, there’s no reason others can’t too.”
Experts from the Enterprise Europe Network, DIT and Santander were available to offer guidance throughout the day.
DIT head of south east of England Ben Ray added: “Although we know that exporting can drive profitability and increase resilience, we also know that the process isn’t without its challenges.
“Events such as the Global Food Forum are an invaluable opportunity for local firms to be able to meet buyers from around the world face-to-face and gain first-hand market insight from government trade experts.”
Meanwhile, the markets offering the most potential for food and drink exporters are China, the US and Hong Kong, and manufacturers are already enjoying significant benefits, statistics released in August indicate.